Adventures in the Bluegrass State

We headed straight to Kentucky – The Bluegrass State when we left New Hampshire. Time with family and friends was great, but I was ready for some adventures. Our original plan was to boondock in the Daniel Boone National Forest, just outside of Morehead. There were two main reasons we nixed that idea, first being the was absolutely no cell service but the main reason was when we got to Paragon Road, the sites were muddy and soft. I could have lived with no service, but if we had gotten Waldo into the site, it would have taken a tow truck to get him out.

We spent the first week at Shady Valley Campground in Grayson. I rarely book a campground that has a Facebook page as it’s website, particularly if it isn’t updated regularly. But, I made an exception and it turned out well. Our site was fairly level and spacious…

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We did have a freaky visitor make his home on our picnic table…

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Several Google searches later, I learned it was a female Arrowshaped Micrathena spider. I know lots of people don’t want anything to do with spiders, but I thought she was cool.

We spent most of the week just driving around the area and seeing what there was to do. We explored backroads and small towns, we discovered the fact that Kentucky still has lots of dry counties – in 2020 – who’d have thought that!?!?!?

Anyhow, one of our daytrips included a stop at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park . We were quite surprised when we learned there are no day use fees for any of the Kentucky State Parks. As we toured the park, we saw how much there is to do, they even have miniature golf (for a very small fee). As we were leaving the park, we came across this…

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It’s hard to imagine all of the work that went into building it. I’m sure it produced a heck of a lot of Kentucky iron in its day. On the way back to the campground, we took a detour to see this…

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I have always loved covered bridges and photographing them. There were picnic tables inside, but the gates were chained shut, presumably because of Covid.

Back at the campground, I searched for somewhere to explore the next day. What I found piqued my curiosity! An abandoned town with an abandon mine. Who could resist?

We came to the abandon town of Lawton first. We explored everywhere it was safe to go…

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When we came to the final building, I didn’t think much would still be inside…

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As we walked around, we found an intact door that had a lock on it. I’ll go through any open door, but I draw the line at breaking in. There were several boards missing along the foundation so I was able to peek inside, imagine my surprise…

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I have no idea how long those vehicles have been in there, but I can’t imagine it’ll be easy to get them out. The roof is failing, the walls are leaning precariously and who knows if the floor is safe.

We drove on a few miles and found the entrance to what is now called Mushroom Mine. Originally, it was the Tygart Limestone company which shut down after WW II. Some time in the mid-60’s a group of Kentucky farmers decided to turn it into a mushroom farm. That lasted until the mid-80’s. In 2004, 2 bodies were found inside about a 1/4 mile from one of the entrances. The couple had been missing several months and their son was ultimately charged in their murder. In 2006, the mine was the center of a scam involving the building of a data storage site. Read more history here.

I was surprised how accessible the mine was…

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Armed with flashlights, we entered the mine. It was obvious lots of people drive in, but we left the Jeep outside and walked. Near the entrances, there is plenty of light…

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But the further in you go, the darker it gets. We found plenty of evidence of the mushroom farm…

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Rooms and rooms of growing trays. The farther in we went, the more water we encountered until we were forced to turn back. A selfie in the nearly pitch black surroundings…

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Back outside, we explored what was supposed to be the data farm buildings. Half built structures with tons of graffiti. I don’t care for the subject matter, but some of the “artists” had talent…

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Nature taking over
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Graffiti

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The mine was definitely creepy, but so much fun to explore.

Have you ever explored an abandon place?

Up next – the move to Carter Caves State Resort Park.

8 thoughts on “Adventures in the Bluegrass State”

  1. Your photos of the abandoned town are fantastic! They remind me of some of the good zombie shows where whole towns are abandoned and nature starts to take over. The classic cars are incredible, and what an unexpected find. I wonder if they’d be worth anything at this point? Seems like quite a restoration project, but I’d imagine someone would want them. It is crazy to me that some of these old abandoned mines are open for anyone to wander through. Seems like a very bad idea from a liability standpoint, but who knows? Anyway, looks like you are wasting no time finding all kinds of interesting stuff… all of it is great except the spider. That was unnecessary. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I think the cars would still have value. They looked in pretty good shape from what I could see. Even if the motors were bad, the bodies all looked good. I was shocked the mine was so accessible! There are miles and miles of roads, I imagine it would be pretty easy to get turned around. I take it you are not a big spider fan, lol.

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  2. Laura, it looks like you found some of our fun places – and discovered several we didn’t even know about!!! Funny that you mention “dry counties” because James grew up in one – and it’s only recently gone wet. When my family moved there from Chicago in my senior year of high school, my Dad ( a dedicated bourbon drinker) couldn’t believe it. He said, “I came to Kentucky, the home of bourbon, and I can’t even buy a d*** bourbon!” 🙂 ~Terri

    Liked by 1 person

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